MacArthur announced competitive research grants totaling nearly $6 million to 13 institutions to explore how housing matters to children, families, and communities. The grants will be used to produce a base of empirical evidence to show how housing affects children’s cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development and how housing choices shape the economic, physical, and emotional well-being of adults.
These research grants, selected from 217 applicants, are the first in a series of awards under the Foundation’s $25 million initiative on how housing matters to communities and families. The initiative is based on the premise that stable, affordable housing may be an essential platform that promotes positive outcomes in education, employment, and physical health by helping to ensure a greater return from other social and public investments.
The Foundation continues to help build the research base and is seeking a second round of grant proposals beginning this month. Initial proposals are due March 22.
“These research efforts will bring to bear the diverse expertise of economists, sociologists, clinicians, and practitioners on housing and deepen our understanding of how housing policy can enhance the well-being of families and neighborhoods beyond providing shelter,” said Michael Stegman, MacArthur’s Director of Policy and Housing. “By fostering this interdisciplinary research, MacArthur seeks to help advance how policymakers think about housing, improve the ways we design and target housing assistance programs with the scarce resources available, and, ultimately, help families lead healthier, more successful lives.”
The 13 grant recipients are:
In addition, seven “signal” grants were awarded in 2008, prior to the formal launch of this research program. Those grants were intended to provide the research community with concrete examples and demonstrate the Foundation’s commitment to enlarging the quality and diversity of the research base that is needed. More detailed descriptions of the 2008 and 2009 research grants are available here.
Further information about the 2010 competition guidelines is also available at MacArthur's Housing Matters webpage. Proposals are assessed based on defined criteria, including importance of the research problem, its potential to inform policy, and the quality of the research design. An external panel of housing experts reviews the proposals and makes funding recommendations.
MacArthur has been a leader in affordable housing for two decades, investing nearly $300 million. The Foundation supports efforts to improve access to stable and affordable housing, including preserving and improving affordable rental housing across the country, conducting national research related to housing policy, and transforming public housing and providing foreclosure counseling and mitigation assistance in Chicago.